(This was actually posted in mid-2016, but was given a bogus date so it’d end up the last post on the blog. Or the first, if you’ve decided to read this blog in chronological order like a psychopath.)
I’ve decided to cut off the current blog at this point, and archive a truncated version of my older site at archive.aaronhildebrandt.com.
I’ve had a website since 1995 (!), and a blog since the early 2000’s. Most of the blog has survived over the years, despite moving from my own custom blogging software (none existed when I started to blog) to Blogger, to Textpattern, then split into multiple sites, then moved to Expression Engine, collapsed back into one site, and moved back to Textpattern. Oh, and then moved to WordPress, and then reverted back to Textpattern.
Despite that, I still retained my custom fields and comments. I know. It’s one of my life’s greatest accomplishments. Only my first year or so of posts were lost, written on a very early version of my own blogging software.
I nearly recovered those earliest posts a few weeks ago. I suddenly remembered that there might be a backup. I dug up some old cloaked URLs the site had used and found that they were pointing to a directory on my parents’ internet provider’s site. They’d never switched providers, sticking with the same company through various acquisitions, and apparently I’d used the free web space the provider offered (5mb?) to host my original site. What were the odds those files were still around?
I contacted the provider, not expecting anyone to know what I was talking about. I was wrong. They said that yes, those files had probably been sitting in that same directory, untouched for fourteen years. Unfortunately, the server had been decommissioned. Totally scrapped, no way for anyone to ever access it again.
Here’s the punchline: it had been decommissioned less than two weeks before I sent the email.
Fourteen years, and I missed recovering my earliest blog posts by less than two weeks.